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Questions tagged [climbing]

Questions relating to climbing can include any activity that requires the use of your hands and feet to move vertically up an object, obstruction or terrain. This varies from trees to boulders to cliff faces and everything in-between.

44
votes
12answers
27k views

Should overweight people ever climb?

I used to be a regular climber, and unfortunately I have put on some serious weight over the last 4 years, and I have not been able to climb as much as would have loved to. While, I am still working ...
37
votes
9answers
25k views

What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?

It's been a while since I went rock climbing but I'd like to get back into it. What are some hand exercises that will help with climbing?
36
votes
2answers
9k views

Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard a ...
34
votes
9answers
322k views

How far would you need to fall for it to be fatal?

A little grim this but I was discussing free soloing with a non-climber in work and I said "Well once you get over a certain height you're not going to survive a fall anyway so anything over this ...
34
votes
7answers
5k views

How to overcome the fear of falling in lead climbing

I used to really enjoy climbing (almost all indoors). I was bouldering around V2-3 and leading at 5+. The mismatch was all down to fear of falling - I would repeatedly bail or fall from routes that ...
33
votes
2answers
20k views

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner?

What does it mean to cross load a carabiner? I know it's bad, and not to do it, but I don't really know what exactly it is.
32
votes
4answers
737 views

What everyday tasks can be adapted in a way that helps build muscles and technique for bouldering?

(This is related to "What hand and finger exercises help with climbing?" but asking for what can be done when not climbing/training.) Like most climbers, I don't get to do as much as I'd like, and I ...
30
votes
6answers
5k views

What are the measurable prerequisites of strength and/or flexiblity for starting to climb in a climbing gym?

If I were a couple of decades younger, I would seriously consider trying climbing in a climbing gym, but I doubt I have enough flexibility, and I would feel horribly out of place. The thing that ...
30
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the difference between “dry rope”, “non-dry rope” and “dry core rope”?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
29
votes
9answers
15k views

What are the advantages of being short when climbing?

My girlfriend often complains that a route or boulder was created for tall climbers. In my experience that sometimes is true: I easily get a hold, she has to jump. However, Lynn Hill proved that a ...
29
votes
6answers
9k views

Which knot for climbing: figure eight, yosemite bowline, bowline on a bight?

This is a topic often discussed online, but all I could find so far was people sharing their opinions (including numbers) on what tie-in knot is the best. Here's what I've found out from different ...
29
votes
2answers
34k views

Climbing rope is rated to X UIAA falls. What is a UIAA fall?

When looking at buying climbing ropes, they are rated to a number of "UIAA falls". What does that mean?
28
votes
2answers
3k views

If the Dawn Wall's been climbed before why is the current attempt so difficult?

There's a lot of talk in the media at the moment about Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell Free ascent of the dawn wall of El Capitan. This wall's been climbed before but this is the first time it's ...
28
votes
2answers
4k views

At what angle should an ice screw be screwed into the ice?

Recently we were climbing up a glacier with the ice at an angle of around 80°. We were placing the ice screws angling slightly upwards with respect to the slope of the ice wall. However, one from ...
27
votes
1answer
37k views

What's the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional Climbing?

What is the difference between Sport Climbing and Traditional (Trad) Climbing? Is it just that Sport Climbing uses bolts?
26
votes
7answers
47k views

What can I do to help relieve joint pain in fingers after climbing?

After I've been climbing for a while, my finger joints are very sore. Is there anything I can do to relieve that pain?
26
votes
5answers
4k views

What are the benefits of learning to climb outdoors rather than indoors?

I would say I'm a fairly experienced hiker, and would love to begin climbing some more challenging mountains, i.e. mountains that require actual climbing, rather than just hiking. I have next to no ...
26
votes
8answers
6k views

Techniques for handling pumped arms?

I love rock climbing and I try to go to my local gym and boulder as often as possible (usually 2-3 times a week). But it's really hard for me to climb for any extended period of time because my arms ...
25
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the point of belay glasses?

I was going through the REI website for some of the products and I stumbled upon this one here. It's called Y & Y VERTICAL Classic Belay Glasses The product punchline says: Stop wrenching ...
24
votes
4answers
13k views

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs?

What are common climbing techniques for strongly overhanging walls and roofs? In order to avoid a strength oriented climbing style and focus on technique.
24
votes
3answers
7k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kg and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 kg)
24
votes
3answers
797 views

How should I check climbing equipment to tell whether it is still safe to use?

I have, unfortunately, not had the opportunity to go climbing (and thus use my climbing equipment) for a couple years. I know that such equipment, especially the rope and webbing, can degrade over ...
23
votes
9answers
5k views

What are creative uses for retired carabiners?

I seem to have accumulated a good number of carabiners that, while probably still safe, I won't climb on anymore. They might be worn, of questionable origin, or just plain made obsolete by an upgrade. ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How should I vet belayers? What should I look for?

The other night I went to the climbing gym, intending to look for a climbing partner once I got there. (My usual gym climbing partner isn't available to climb as often as I want to.) The gym provides ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it realistic to teach yourself rock climbing?

I've been wanting to get into rock climbing for a while but I live in a very flat area with no climbing gyms around. I'm planning on moving to the Pacific Northwest soon and I wanted to know what the ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How to inspect climbing bolts?

I am most interested in setting up a top rope anchor on 2 bolts side by side. I feel like in this case you almost have to be more careful using bolts for a top rope than sport climbing because in ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Why are indoor climbing grades easier?

This is possibly a little of a generalisation but, why are indoor grades easier than outdoor grades? Having climbed at many many indoor walls (all over the uk) and done multiple outdoor climbs (...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

What can I do with a retired rope and harness?

I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Please Explain Rock Climbing Grades

I have seen various grades for different climbs such as 5.14b, 8b+, 8b - 150m It seems there are different parts to the grade, e.g. the last one is it 8b for 150 metres? Do these grades only ...
22
votes
7answers
6k views

How to safely mark a rope

I was reading this question and the first thing that popped into my head is what do you use to mark the middle of the rope? I was taught not to use any kind of marker on the rope (because there's no ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does suspension trauma happen?

This question once more brought up the topic of suspension trauma. I tried to read up on the topic, but found that the Wikipedia page was not as informative as I would have liked. Especially I'm ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I improve my footwork while rock-climbing?

When I'm rock climbing, I feel like I've got hand holds down as far as where to grab on and understand that the hands are mainly for balance. However, I can't seem to figure out my feet. There are ...
22
votes
4answers
11k views

How should a climbing rope be stored?

I've purchased my first climbing rope and am wondering how it should be stored when not in use. I have a rope bag which I assume is a good home for the rope; should it be kept tightly coiled inside ...
21
votes
2answers
830 views

Chalk: pure, plus drying agent, liquid?

Having only used pure chalk without added substances so far, I wondered how the other types perform. Most of the information I could find online is either somebody ranting against a certain type, or ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Using a Girth Hitch in Alpine Draws

I've recently started making my alpine (or "trad") draws by girth hitching one end of a sling to the gear side carabiner and then clipping and passing the rope side through as usual. The girth hitch ...
20
votes
3answers
13k views

Climbing with a much lighter partner?

Both my fiancee and myself bought some climbing gear recently and we're planning our first trip to an indoor rock gym this weekend. We decided to practice our knots and belay technique before we went ...
20
votes
2answers
34k views

How do climbers retrieve anchored rope?

The following is a scene I have always been perplexed about. I’ve seen it many times. A mountain climber has no one above him as he descends and is trailing rope behind him that he is using to ...
20
votes
3answers
598 views

How should a climbing rope be cleaned?

What products and process should be used to clean a climbing rope when it gets sufficiently dirty? How would I remove as much dirt and grime as possible without negatively affecting the strength or ...
20
votes
1answer
296 views

Compromised Ropes in Retail Stores

Reposting this from a Facebook discussion. It's a picture taken from a retail store where they have attached a pin-tag through the rope to prevent theft; a common practice at this location. My gut ...
19
votes
7answers
15k views

Is there any practical use for a grappling hook?

A friend was asking about grappling hooks the other day, apparently they'd seen a mountaineering program where the guy carried a grappling hook. We couldn't quite figure out why, I've never seen ...
19
votes
4answers
420 views

How do you know if smaller brands of climbing equipment are safe?

There is a local shop that sells small brand name gear for pretty good prices. I am looking at their harnesses and quickdraws and would like to know: 1) Whether the equipment is safe - say compared ...
19
votes
4answers
939 views

How to train climbing endurance at home?

Close to my home, there is only a bouldering gym, but no climbing gym that offers roped climbing. But my real goal in climbing is leading harder/longer routes. The bouldering really improves my ...
19
votes
3answers
9k views

Methods for taping hands, wrists, and fingers for climbing?

I've been climbing off and on since I was a teenager, but one thing I've never done much of is taping my hands. As I gained more experience, it's value is now apparent. What are some good techniques ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

How can someone fall 3m to the ground while top-roping & how to prevent it?

My boyfriend and I do top rope climbing quite regularly in our indoor climbing centre. On attempting a harder route, he slipped and fell, reaching the ground. I am trying to understand what went ...
18
votes
3answers
5k views

How to walk as a roped party on a glacier?

If you want to walk on a glacier you usually do this roped together as a team. How to walk as a roped party on a glacier? What I have to pay attention to when knotting the rope? Related question: ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

How dangerous is it to climb a via ferrata alone?

What are the risks of climbing a via ferrata alone? Would going through very easy via ferratas still pose high risks? Are well visited and easy climbing via ferratas necessarily a great danger? I ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How safe is a chest harness when used without a sit harness?

How safe is it to use a chest harness without a sit harness? I ask this question because of an experience I had while on holiday. A couple of years ago I was in China and hiked/climbed HuaShan (see ...
18
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I tie a slackline with only carabiners and webbing?

Commercial slackline solutions seem bulky, heavy, overpriced, and a little too industrial for my liking. I have 6 carabiners and 50m of tubular webbing. What knots do you recommend for building, ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

How to instruct someone how to take off a climbing harness?

After rappelling near waterfalls, or during the rain, the harness often becomes wet and hard to remove -- particularly for inexperienced people. How can I instruct someone in how to remove the ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it polite to ask other climbers to belay for you?

I'm a beginner climber. There are many climbers all over my area (doing cliffs). Would it be polite, impolite, or neutral, to approach groups and ask them if I could join them? Maybe this is '...